Best Scenic Drives in Utah

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scenic-drives-utahAlongside many of the rocky mountain states, Utah is home to some of the most beautiful terrain to drive in the country.  From Bear Lake to Zion National park, there is so much to see in the Beehive state; fortunately for us locals, the paths are paved and ready to be driven.

Here is a list of our top 5 drives in the state of Utah:

  1. Guardsman Pass – A staple for those living on the Wasatch Front, Guardsman is a classically beautiful mountainous canyon drive.  With sky-scrapping mountains on either side, it’s tough to keep your eyes on the road!  Luckily, there are dozens of pull outs and we recommend stopping early and often (and bringing a camera).
  2. Zion Canyon – Have you ever wondered what the terrain might look like on another planet?  If so, then Zion canyon is one of the drives you can’t miss!  Beautiful sandstone emits unworldly colors while they stand in unworldly shapes and sizes.  Also, the entire loop is driven by buses running daily, so you don’t have to worry about keeping your eyes on the road!
  3. Mirror Lake Scenic Byway – The highway with the highest elevation in Utah is also one of the more stunning drives in the country.  Picture a windy road, passing through canyon after canyon, with frequent deer and moose sightings, and more lakes than people on some days, then you’ve imagined the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway.  Having trouble with your imagination?  We understand; you really need to see it in person!
  4. Colorado River Scenic Byway – The best place to start this drive in on I-70 just west of the Colorado-Utah border.  The drive winds through a tight canyon, of which 90% is taken up by the river.  The water allows for many plants to thrive, creating a desert oasis for miles to come.  Have some extra time when you get to Moab, take the drive through Arches or up to Island in the Sky and you’ll see some of the best vistas in the West.
  5. Highway 12 – It may be a bit cliche because everyone in Utah has heard about the crazy diversity of Highway 12 in Southern Utah; but, because of it’s proximity to nothing, many Utahns alike haven’t made it down there!  Everything from the desert hoodoos of Bryce canyon to the strange rock formations of grand escalante, and the mountains high above Capital Reef, this drive has everything one could ask for in a scenic drive.  We nominate Highway 12 for best drive in America.

Of course parts of this list is seasonal and must be taken into consideration before departing; but, there is something for every season and there’s no reason not to plan ahead!